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Lion Welcomes Ex-Army Chief of Staff as Board Chair


March 28 , 2020
By GELILA SAMUEL ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )


Tsadkan Gebretensae (Lt. Gen.)

The National Bank of Ethiopia has approved Tsadkan Gebretensae (Lt. Gen.), former chief of staff of the Defense Forces, as the board chairperson of Lion Bank.

Tsadkan replaces Tassew Woldehanna (PhD), the current president of Addis Abeba University (AAU), as of March 28, 2020. Tassew's term ended on December 20, 2020, after serving the Bank for two terms totalling six years.

Tsadkan was born in Checher, Raya, and left his studies toward a bachelor's degree at Addis Abeba University to join the struggle against the Dergue regime. He obtained his master's degree in business administration from the United Kingdom's Open University and earned another master's from George Washington University in international policy.


He served as the Chief of Staff for the Defense Forces between 1991 and 2001 and worked as the board chairperson of Methara Sugar Factory and Ethiopian Shipping Lines for eight years each. He was also the founder and board chairperson of Raya Beer, which was sold to BGI Ethiopia in 2018.

“With the team behind my back," said Tsadkan, "I’m going to study the position of the Bank and discuss the current status with the management in addition to studying the banking industry of the country, as this is my first experience in the banking sector."


Tassew mentioned that net profit growth of the Bank will be his achievement during his tenure. When he joined the Bank, Lion's gross profit was 127 million Br, and it went up to 700 million Br in the last fiscal year.


“When I took the position, major shareholders had a great influence on the management of the Bank, and there was a rough relationship between the board members," he said. "Hence, I have straightened out the lawlessness in the Bank and brought order to the working system."

Born in 1964, Tassew first graduated from Ambo Institute of Agriculture in Ethiopia in 1982 and has earned a diploma in Cooperative Management & Accounting from Ardiata Cooperative Institute in 1984. He then obtained his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and received the Chancellor’s Medal from Haramaya University in 1991.

He also earned a master’s degree in agricultural and environmental economics and policy from Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands, in 1995. He got his doctoral degree in household economics from Wageningen University in 2000. As part of his PhD studies, he also earned a diploma in general economics from the Netherlands Network of Economics in 1996.


Currently, he is serving as the 11th president of AAU as of February 12, 2020. He also served as vice president for Research & Technology Transfer, dean of the College of Business & Economics, associate dean for the Research and Graduate Program, graduate programme coordinator of Faculty of Business & Economics, an associate staff member of the Institute of Development Research (IDR) and chairperson of the AAU's Press Board.

“I don’t have any regrets from working at the Bank," said Tassew. "Through my time, I have done my best for the profitability of the institution.”

Established in 2006 with an initial paid-up capital of 108.2 million Br raised from 3,739 shareholders, Lion netted 527.2 million Br in profit and opened 30 new branches, which increased the workforce by 941. Its total assets have risen to 20.4 billion Br and mobilised 16.4 billion Br in loans. Lion invested 4.2 billion Br in NBE five-year bonds, representing 21pc of the Bank's total assets and 26pc of its total deposits.



PUBLISHED ON Mar 28,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1039]


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